Next month marks our 7th anniversary in what I can no longer call our ‘new’ office. The decision to move out of the downtown core was not one rooted in a dislike of Guelph’s downtown- to the contrary I rather miss it at times. What I do not miss, is the parking. Parking, was in my view, an impediment to our growth, and an ongoing inconvenience to both my clients ( the agents ) and their clients alike. That, combined with a rather unscientific survey of where our business was coming from, and a quick assessment of where Guelph seemed to be growing towards, and the decision to move to the south end was an easy one ( not to be confused with a cheap one ). If, as we have been ingrained to believe, the three most important words in real estate are location location and location, it only made sense to invest in a good one. I have never regretted the move. Parking has ceased to be an issue, even as we have grown over the years. I can get to my home on the north end in less than 10 minutes, and the airport in 40 assuming traffic is normal. However, I am slowly changing my view on where exactly Guelph’s future is headed. Whereas a short seven years ago, my business (and countless others) headed south, downtown Guelph is beginning to look like the real future of the city.
Anyone that has spent any amount of time travelling, would attest that the downtown cores of the worlds best cities are what define those cities as great. It is not the modern office towers, bank buildings suburban malls that define a city’s character. Rather it is the people that congregate in the cafés, coffee houses, pubs, restaurants and shops that sprout up in vibrant historical districts. People, is what downtown Guelph has been missing, and that is in the process of changing. With the completion of Tricar’s River House, a sister project about to begin selling, Fusions 700 plus units on the old woods site plus several other smaller projects in various stages of planning and completion, Guelph’s downtown is in the midst of a transformation. Take a walk downtown, take some pictures, show your kids. Ten years from now, you will not recognize it!
While I am bullish on the future of Guelph’s downtown core, I remain glad not to be working there. In a business such as ours, that requires coming and going several times a day, parking is still the greatest inhibitor to a downtown real estate office. A lunch meeting with a friend for at Buon Gusto’s recently required parking in the Baker Street lot and a 5 minute walk. Not bad on a nice spring day – but 5 times a day in February ? No thanks! There is another inhibitor on the horizon that one might not have imagined a decade ago. Cost. Demand for a piece of the downtown pie will only increase as more and more people living there require services. And the pie (unlike the suburban pie) cannot grow. Limited pie + hungry pie eaters = expensive pie. It’s not advanced economics, ( thank goodness ) but it is economics I can get my head around.
Thanks for reading,